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Ashes of Glass is on Book Sirens!

I am so thankful that Book Siren s has approved Ashes of Glass! If you’re interested in snagging a copy, just follow this link: Ashes of Glass on Book Sirens.

A servant struggling to survive.
A prince becoming a leader.
A snake seeking power.

Arella Marceau, once the daughter of a wealthy merchant, finds herself diminished to a lowly servant who must obey the every whim of her stepmother. Then she meets Freddie who is handsome, kind, strong, and of course, very charming. They spend an afternoon together, exploring ruins, becoming lost in the forest, and dealing with gypsies and Arella begins to fall for the young man. When a mysterious debt arises, it inevitably tears Arella away from what she thought might have been a shred of happiness.

Arella accepts her dismal fate, but working as a scullery maid at the palace is a tumultuous task. For it is soon revealed to her that Freddie is Prince Friederic, heir to the throne of Ormandy. Even though discovery would mean life-shattering consequences, Freddie and Arella defy social expectations and meet in the safety of a secret garden. To complicate things further, Arella’s creditor seems to be frighteningly fascinated with her, as well as with the monarchy. What kind of secrets does he keep behind his black eyes?

As Arella’s life spins out of control, she must hold to her love for Freddie and to her belief that God has a perfect plan.

my writing

Ashes of Glass Revamped

So I have a confession to make… You know that book I wrote? The Cinderella retelling? Well, I’ve been avoiding it. I’ve been telling myself that I need to revisit it and do some editing and whatnot, but I was afraid I’d be disappointed (and maybe a little embarrassed) with it since it was my first attempt at self-publishing. I was wrong. I was actually pleasantly surprised.

I read through the whole book and made some formatting adjustments and fixed some grammar issues. I also tweaked some things that were not explained well or worded awkwardly. All in all, I’m happy with the final result. I mean, obviously, it’s not going to be a book for everyone. I’d say it’s for people who love a clean, sweet, and faith-based fairytale retelling.

If you’re thinking that maybe you’d like to give it a read, but you’re not sure you want to actually buy it, never fear! It is coming soon to Book Sirens (YAY! *does a happy dance*). I’ve uploaded the files and now I’m just waiting for final approval. So keep your eyes peeled for an update. I will be posting about it as soon it’s official. Till then, add it to your Goodreads bookshelves.

Ashes of Glass on Goodreads

Ashes of Glass on Amazon

Back cover blurb:

A servant struggling to survive.
A prince becoming a leader.
A snake seeking power.

Arella Marceau, once the daughter of a wealthy merchant, finds herself diminished to a lowly servant who must obey the every whim of her stepmother. Then she meets Freddie who is handsome, kind, strong, and of course, very charming. They spend an afternoon together, exploring ruins, becoming lost in the forest, and dealing with gypsies and Arella begins to fall for the young man. When a mysterious debt arises, it inevitably tears Arella away from what she thought might have been a shred of happiness.

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Arella accepts her dismal fate, but working as a scullery maid at the palace is a tumultuous task. For it is soon revealed to her that Freddie is Prince Friederic, heir to the throne of Ormandy. Even though discovery would mean life-shattering consequences, Freddie and Arella defy social expectations and meet in the safety of a secret garden. To complicate things further, Arella’s creditor seems to be frighteningly fascinated with her, as well as with the monarchy. What kind of secrets does he keep behind his black eyes?

As Arella’s life spins out of control, she must hold to her love for Freddie and to her belief that God has a perfect plan.

Book Reviews

Cross My Heart by Robin Lee Hatcher

This was a sweet and beautiful contemporary romance with a dash of historical flavour. 

Ashley and Ben both had spotty pasts. Ben as a recovering alcoholic struggled with the past and rebuilding relationships, while Ashley wrestled with the pain of a brother addicted to drugs and alcohol and with finding peace in God. These two people connect when Ben approaches Ashley for help with his new equine therapy facility – Harmony Barn. They labour on this project together and eventually find themselves falling for each other. But it isn’t all sunshine and roses; no, there are disappointments and hardships. Yet, through it all, Ben and Ashley are moulded into stronger characters who see God’s hands through it all. 

There is also a lovely connection between Ben’s family Bible and flashbacks to the 1940s and Andrew Hennings experience of World War II. This aspect connected beautifully to the previous book and added another tone to the story. 

The writing, while simple was neatly done and Hatcher did a wonderful job conveying the emotions. This was also a clean read which was quite enjoyable.    

I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Book Reviews

Waterfall (River of Time #1) by Lisa Tawn Bergren

This was my second time reading Waterfall, but I still enjoyed every bit of it! 

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but the decision that something is more important than fear.” 

The main character Gabriella was absolutely amazing. She was brave and intelligent and kind, but not perfect – I actually really enjoyed being inside her head and getting to know her. Bergren does an excellent job keeping things interesting and balancing between Gabi’s thoughts and actions. The love interest, Marcello, was definitely your chivalrous knight in shining armour. I did like him; although, I felt we didn’t get to know him super well. Also, their relationship wasn’t quite as developed as I would have liked. But, hey, there are two more books. So we have time for that.

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“Sometimes the heart tells us to venture where the mind fears to tread.”

The setting was 14th-century Italy and Bergren made it feel quite authentic. It’s clear that she did her research. Her writing was also delightful. It was not flowery, but it was engaging. I felt drawn into the story from the very start and there was no point where I felt like skimming because I was getting bored.     

My greatest qualm, though, is the title. It’s beautiful and compelling, but while reading, I never made a connection. I get that the girls fell into a “river of time” and fell down a “waterfall” into the 14th century, but that was never brought up in the book. 

Lastly, this was a clean read.

“We all have freedom of choice. Over and over again, minute by minute. How will you live your life? For yourself? Or for others? For something good? For love?” 

I definitely recommend this book to those who love an adventure tinged history and romance.  

 

Ramblings

Free eBook – Ashes of Glass

Today is the day! My debut novel Ashes of Glass is free on Amazon.ca today and tomorrow. If you have a couple minutes pick it up and add it to your summer to-read list.

Click HERE to find Ashes of Glass on Amazon.ca.

A servant struggling to survive.
A prince becoming a leader.
A snake seeking power.

Arella Marceau, once the daughter of a wealthy merchant, finds herself diminished to a lowly servant who must obey the every whim of her stepmother. Then she meets Freddie who is handsome, kind, strong, and of course, very charming. They spend an afternoon together, exploring ruins, becoming lost in the forest, and dealing with gypsies and Arella begins to fall for the young man. When a mysterious debt arises, it inevitably tears Arella away from what she thought might have been a shred of happiness.

Arella accepts her dismal fate, but working as a scullery maid at the palace is a tumultuous task. For it is soon revealed to her that Freddie is Prince Friederic, heir to the throne of Ormandy. Even though discovery would mean life-shattering consequences, Freddie and Arella defy social expectations and meet in the safety of a secret garden. To complicate things further, Arella’s creditor seems to be frighteningly fascinated with her, as well as with the monarchy. What kind of secrets does he keep behind his black eyes?

As Arella’s life spins out of control, she must hold to her love for Freddie and to her belief that God has a perfect plan.

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Book Reviews

The Swiss Courier by Tricia Goyer and Mike Yorkey

 

A riveting historical adventure.

Since my grandparents are Dutch I have heard and read many stories set in Holland during WWII, but I have rarely encountered stories from the Swiss point of view. As a result, the Swiss Courier was interesting and exciting!

The characters were dynamic and unique. Gabi was sweet and brave and Bruno Kassler was terrifying and vicious. The story is told from quite a few different points of view Image result for shocked gif disneywhich was at first a little disappointing since I thought the book was about Gabi, but I as the story went on, I grew to enjoy it. One thing, though, I kind of wish Gabi had discovered Jean-Pierre’s identity a little sooner. (By the way, that was such a shocker!) Maybe, though, this would have taken away from the surprise at the end?

Although this was written by two authors, there wasn’t a striking difference between their writing. This was nice since sometimes when two authors write their separate pieces, there is a bit of a jolt when jumping from one to the other. Lastly, with the writing, I found that at times there was a lot of extra information – about a handgun, or airplane, or person. I felt that these details weighed down the story instead of complementing it.

Lastly, this was a clean read!    

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Ta ta for now!

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Book Reviews

Dauntless by Dina L. Sleiman

This story began so beautifully! Sleiman painted an enchanting world and instantly dropped the reader into a suspenseful situation. Really, this prologue was stellar and simply crackled with energy.

The little thieves were adorable, but at the same time fierce and willing to fight for their freedom despite their young age. Even though she was also young, Merry bravely led them and loved them like a family. But Timothy… I wasn’t crazy about him. He obsessed over fame and fortune and although he mostly changed his tune, it still occasionally came up. Allan was a sweetheart! I think he was one of my favourite characters. In all of these characters, though, I found a great tendency to be attracted to others by their appearance. While this does play a part in romance, it took too great a foreground in this story. Also, Merry’s doe-eyes were emphasized waaay too much. I think the reader will get the drift after mentioning it twice.

The writing was good and the plot was interesting. Although, I found that it slowed down. This is the opposite of the last book I read, Hunted by Meagan Spooner, which began slowly but advanced as it went along. One of the things that bogged Dauntless down, was all of the thinking. The characters spent so much time in their own head that I began to skim.35098412

Lastly, this was a clean read!  

Keep an eye open for my next review:

The Queen’s Rising.

Book Reviews

If I Live by Terri Blackstock

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I read this book so fast I’m not even sure I’m qualified to write a review. But… I’m going to try anyway. Just let me catch my breath.

“This is all so tangled and so impossible, but God did the impossible tonight. He does it all the time. I’m so overcome by it that I can’t formulate an elaborate prayer. I simply whisper, “Thank you.”
― Terri Blackstock, If I Live

What a smashing ending to this series!

The plot of was gripping and fast-paced and I was completely engaged the entire time. Perhaps there could have been a little more development, but that might have dragged things out too long. The writing was similar – it was concise and said what needed to be said. I think this is a talent as much as elaborate, colourful writing is. It’s not easy to write such an impactful novel while keeping things simple.

I loved how realistic Casey’s character was. Over the series, she became stronger, but she also developed a weariness. It’s been weeks since she discovered Brent’s body and since that day, she’s been running for her life. She’s tired. Blackstock did a marvellous job with communicating these emotions. Again, Dylan was supportive and kind. What a sweetheart! However, in terms of the romance, things moved a little too quickly. No spoilers, though, so I’ll leave it at that.

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Author Terri Blackstock

 

This was a clean read in terms of profanity and sex. But there was a lot of violence! At one point, I sat back and thought, “People are dropping like flies, no one’s going to be left at the end!” Thankfully, this wasn’t the case, but there was a significant number of murders.

Despite this, though, it was a well written, nail-biting, breath-stealing, ending to an amazing series. If you haven’t read it, I definitely recommend. If you have, what are your thoughts on the conclusion to If I Run?   

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Book Reviews

If I’m Found by Terri Blackstock

Wow! Just wow! I don’t know what to say. I don’t know what to do. This is just way, way too intense! But one thing I know: I am very thankful that I bought book #3 when I bought #2. (Yes, I’ve already started reading it….)Image result for mary poppins nannies gif

So I liked the first book, it was good, but it didn’t knock me off of my chair or anything. With this one, I was blown away!  

Okay, sorry. I’ll stop blabbering and get to the review.

“Every expression of gratitude is a prayer, which means the practice of intentional gratitude leads directly to a life lived in continual worship.” – If I’m Found

The plot for this book was well executed. I was engaged the entire time and I never felt bored, but I also didn’t feel left behind. Blackstock spent enough time on things to effectively develop them. It is interesting, though, that there isn’t a huge amount of description. This usually bugs me, but Blackstock was careful to mention just the right things in order to efficiently tell the story. She also progressed the events of book 1 or as I like to say, “ She ‘thickened’ the plot.” As a result, I was left hanging and completely overwhelmed by the suspense.      

I loved getting to know Casey and Dylan better. One of my favourite things was being able to see how Casey interacted with someone she wasn’t hiding from. Up to this point, a lot of Casey’s POV was her on her own, running and hiding from others. However, she is finally portrayed openly connecting with another person. Dylan… What a sweetheart. Even though he has been through some difficult times, he is still willing to risk his life if it means doing what’s right. Image result for if i live terri blackstock

I definitely recommend this book (and series!) if you enjoy a good thriller. You won’t be disappointed!

Keep your eyes open for a review of book #3! I assure you, it will be showing up soon.

P.S. I love these covers! So beautiful. They made my Top Ten Covers of 2018

 

Book Reviews

The Warrior Maiden by Melanie Dickerson

Going into this book, I was a little skeptical since I wasn’t a huge fan of Dickerson’s last book. (The Orphan’s Wish.) However, this one did pick things up a little.Image result for mulan gif

I’ll start with saying that I’m really, really, glad that Dickerson stayed true to Mulan’s ethnicity. It was nice that she was open to presenting a non-white female antagonist. I also loved Mulan’s character. She was fierce and independent, but still kind and gentle. I think of all the books by Dickerson that I have read so far, Mulan is my favourite female character. She was stronger than the others and didn’t let men do all the fighting for her. I can’t say I was a huge fan of Wolfgang… He was okay, but I felt that there wasn’t a great deal of development or depth. A lot of the time spent from his POV, was him obsessing over whether or not Mulan was in love with him. This was also the case for Mulan’s POV and combined, it made me rather bored. On that note… about 50% of the way, the action just died off and I wondered, “What is left to happen?” It picked up again at 70%, but I ended up skimming most of the stuff between 50% and 70% (the majority was simply Mulan and Wolfgang trying to decide whether or not they loved the other. A little speculation is fine, but after a bit, this became tedious).

Another thing that really bugged me, was the world building. This is a new area for Dickerson so she should set the stage, but I got very little. I was left with the skeleton of a picture in my mind. This was similar to other aspects of her writing too. There wasn’t quite enough description. It was simple and to the point. Which is sometimes fine, but Dickerson has written a great number of books already so I expected more colour.  

An enormous positive factor was that this was a clean read. There were some kisses (maybe more than other Dickerson novels?), but they weren’t overly graphic.

I recommend this book to those who enjoy fairytale retellings. Although I warn you, the romance is rather sappy (and a touch cliche?). But maybe you don’t mind?

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Thanks for reading!

Have you read A Warrior Maiden? What were your thoughts?